Tuesday, March 5, 2024

#Bookreview of Broken: The Suspicious Death of Alydar

Broken: The Suspicious Death of Alydar and the End of Horse Racing’s Golden Age

By: Fred M. Kray
Publisher: Live Oak Press
Publication Date: April 28, 2023
ISBN: 979-8987213810
Reviewed by: Kathy Stickles
Review Date: March 4, 2024

Broken: The Suspicious Death of Alydar and the End of Horse Racing’s Golden Age is an incredible book that tells the story of Alydar and his career, the horrible details of his death, and the examination of all of the facts and obvious greed of those around the horse.

Calumet Farm is a place that any horse-racing fan will know. It was the location of some of the most cherished and famous horses of the time. A place where they should have been safe and well cared for. Unfortunately, it was also a place filled with injury, greed, and finally the destruction of an era. Alydar, a horse that rose quickly to fame during his career, is in his stall for the night as are the other horses and being watched over by Alton Stone, the night watchman on duty. Everything seems perfectly fine on this beautiful evening when Stone checks on the stallion. For some reason, he returns to check on the horse again because all of a sudden he has a bad feeling. What he finds is Alydar, who has somehow injured himself, and no apparent explanation of how it happened. What follows is an amazing story of the investigation into the death of Alydar, the huge insurance payment that was made to Calumet Farm, and the confusion and attempt to figure out what happened to the horse and why.

Author Fred M. Kray is an attorney who focuses on animal law and, after reading this book, I can also say that he is an amazing author who has given readers an intense and very in-depth look into this horrible mystery. Given his background, this author is definitely at the top of the list of people who are perfectly prepared to offer the world this tragic story. He covers everything from the life of Alydar…to the insurance investigations into the death...to the prosecutions of those who were possible culprits in the crime. He does so with excellent writing, deep and thorough research into the facts and beliefs surrounding the situation, and very in-depth and illuminating interviews with numerous witnesses. Throughout the story, the reader can see the deep admiration and love the author has for Alydar as well as the heartbreaking things that this horse suffered at the hands of those he trusted to care for him.

I really cannot recommend Broken enough. Mr. Kray’s writing is superb, and the facts are presented in such a comprehensive and logical manner that the reader cannot help but become completely immersed in the story and the hope that somehow Alydar will receive justice and those who were involved in this horrifying period in time will be held accountable. I found the book to be excellent, and I commend the author for all that he tried to do and for his deep love of all animals.

Quill says: While a tragic and horrifying story, Broken: The Suspicious Death of Alydar and the End of Horse Racing’s Golden Age, is one that should be read by everyone. It is true crime at its best because of the fabulous and detailed writing regarding the investigation into the facts of this magnificent animal’s death.

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